As a resident of Texas involved in an automobile accident, you may wonder who is responsible for paying for the damage and injuries that result. The answer depends on who caused the accident and the type of insurance coverage involved. If another motorist caused the collision due to negligence or reckless behavior, their liability insurance should cover costs like vehicle repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. However, if you caused or contributed to the accident, your own insurance policy would likely need to pay out to cover costs, up to the limits of your coverage. In some cases, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can also help pay for injuries. Determining fault and ensuring proper insurance coverage can be complicated, so consulting with a personal injury attorney in Texas is often advisable. They can investigate your accident, deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and pursue compensation to cover all costs related to your injuries. A Texas Car Accident Lawyer can help you get started.
Determining Liability After a Car Accident in Texas
After a car accident in Texas, determining liability and who will pay for damages can be complicated. As a victim, you will need to prove negligence to recover compensation.
If the other driver's negligence caused the accident, they and/or their insurance company will typically be liable for damages. Negligence could include:
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Violating traffic laws like running a red light
To prove negligence, you will need evidence like photos of the scene, eyewitness statements, police reports, and in some cases expert testimony regarding unsafe conditions.
If an auto part defect caused or contributed to the accident, the manufacturer may share liability. You would need to show that the part was improperly designed or manufactured and failed to perform as intended. In these complex cases, consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in product liability law is advisable.
If multiple parties share fault for the accident, liability and damages may be apportioned based on the degree of negligence of each party under Texas's proportionate responsibility rule. For example, if another driver was 80% at fault and you were 20% at fault, they would be liable for 80% of the damages.
By conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of your accident and establishing negligence, you can identify all liable parties to pursue fair compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage. An experienced injury law firm can help you navigate the legal process.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?
After an accident, it's normal to wonder who will pay for the damages and how you will recover costs. In Texas, several parties may be responsible for compensating you for harm and losses.
Economic damages refer to quantifiable costs such as medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair or replacement, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The at-fault driver's insurance company is typically liable for economic damages. You may need to file a personal injury claim to recover these costs.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement or disability, loss of consortium, and reduced quality of life. The at-fault driver may be liable for non-economic damages. To claim non-economic damages, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In cases of gross negligence or reckless behavior, punitive damages may be awarded as punishment. Punitive damages are meant to deter similar harmful conduct. While rare, if awarded, punitive damages can be a significant amount. The at-fault driver is usually liable for punitive damage awards.
By understanding the types of damages that may be available to you, you can make informed decisions about how to recover costs after an accident. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help determine your best path forward based on the details of your unique situation.
Using Your Own Insurance Coverage
Using Your Own Insurance Coverage
If you have been in a car accident in Texas, your own auto insurance policy can help cover damages and losses. Most standard policies include coverage for liability, collision, and comprehensive claims.
Liability coverage protects you if you are found legally responsible for damage or injuries to other parties in an accident. The minimum liability coverage required in Texas is 30/60/25, which means $30,000 for each person's injuries, $60,000 for total injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. Higher limits are recommended to fully protect your assets. Liability coverage will help pay for the other driver's vehicle repairs, medical bills, and other costs if you are at fault.
Collision coverage pays for repairs to your own vehicle after an accident. It does not matter who is at fault - your insurance company will pay for damages either way. Collision coverage is optional but helps avoid expensive out-of-pocket costs. The amount you receive depends on your coverage limits and the actual cash value of your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage protects against non-collision losses like vandalism, theft, natural disasters, or impacts with animals. Like collision, it pays for damage to your own vehicle regardless of fault. Comprehensive and collision coverage are often bundled together.
To utilize your insurance after an accident, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to file a claim. Be prepared to provide details about the incident, other parties involved, witness information, and police reports. Your insurance company will investigate the claim, determine fault, and pay out coverage amounts to get you back on the road. While the process can take time, using your own insurance is often the simplest way to recover damages from a car accident.
When the Other Driver Is Uninsured
If the other driver involved in your car accident lacks auto insurance, you may still be able to recover damages. In Texas, uninsured motorist coverage helps protect you financially in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
Your Own Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy, it can help pay for damages and injuries from an accident caused by an uninsured driver. This type of coverage acts as a safety net, allowing you to collect from your own insurance company. The amount of coverage depends on the limits you choose for your policy.
The Other Driver's Liability
Although the other driver lacked insurance, they are still liable for the damages and harm caused by their negligence. You have the right to pursue a claim against the other driver to recover losses. However, collecting payment from an uninsured individual can be difficult. They may lack the means to pay a legal judgment against them.
Your Health Insurance
If you suffered injuries in the accident, your health insurance plan may cover initial medical expenses, including emergency care, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and physical therapy. However, your health insurer may then subrogate the claim, meaning they pursue repayment from the at-fault driver on your behalf. Again, the ability to collect full payment from an uninsured motorist is challenging.
You have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver to obtain fair compensation. Although litigation can be time-consuming and expensive, it may be your only avenue for recovering all damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages, and future medical expenses. Your attorney can determine the liable parties to name in the lawsuit and the best legal strategies for pursuing an uninsured motorist claim.
With the proper steps, you may obtain at least partial compensation after an accident with an uninsured driver. However, there are no guarantees, and the process often requires patience and persistence. Speaking to a personal injury attorney in Texas can help you understand your options fully and make the decisions that are right for your unique situation.
Hiring a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
After sustaining injuries in a car accident, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you. They can handle communications with insurance companies and help you seek fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In Texas, the party deemed “at-fault” for the accident is typically responsible for paying for damages. However, determining fault is not always straightforward. A lawyer can investigate the accident, gather evidence from the scene, interview witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They have the expertise to build a strong case to prove who was at fault, and the liable party’s insurance should then cover costs.
If multiple parties share fault, damages may be paid out proportionally. A lawyer can identify all potentially liable parties to pursue to maximize your settlement. They can also take the case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation.
When meeting with potential lawyers, ask about their experience with car accident cases specifically. Discuss their strategy for handling your case, including any strengths and weaknesses they identify. Inquire about their rates and fees to determine what you can afford. Look for a lawyer willing to take your case on contingency, meaning they only get paid if they win you a settlement. This ensures they have incentive to get you the maximum compensation possible.
With the right lawyer advocating for you, the at-fault party’s insurance provider should cover costs like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle repair or replacement, and other accident-related expenses. A lawyer can make the process of seeking compensation simpler so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Hiring legal representation is the smart choice after an auto accident in Texas.
Call A Texas Car Accident Lawyer At Fletcher Law
If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas that was caused by another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. The at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider is typically responsible for paying for accident-related costs, though there are some exceptions.
An experienced car accident lawyer in Texas can help determine who is liable for your damages and work to recover the maximum compensation on your behalf. The team at Fletcher Law has successfully represented countless car accident victims across Texas. We understand the complex laws surrounding auto insurance and liability in our state and have a proven track record of delivering results.
Some of the damages and costs that may be covered after a Texas car accident include:
- Medical bills: Emergency room visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation, physical therapy, medication, and more.
- Lost wages: Income lost due to missed work as a result of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and lowered quality of life.
- Property damage: Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle and any other personal property that was damaged.
- Wrongful death: Expenses and financial losses in the event a loved one was killed in the accident.
Do not delay in consulting with a car accident lawyer. There are strict statutes of limitations on filing a claim, and valuable evidence needs to be gathered as soon as possible while details are still fresh in witnesses’ minds. The team at Fletcher Law offers free consultations and works on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.
Call today for your free case review and to discuss your legal options. You deserve justice and fair compensation for your injuries—we can help you get it.
As you have seen, determining liability and recovering damages after a car accident in Texas can be complicated. The state's proportionate responsibility law means that even if you are partially at fault, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage. However, the amount you receive will depend on your degree of fault. It is critical to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident. They can investigate the crash, determine who is at fault, and fight to get you the maximum compensation under the law. While no amount of money can undo the harm, it can help pay for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses resulting from someone else's negligence. Don't delay - call a personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation about your rights and options. They have the experience and skill to handle even the most complex auto accident injury claims and help you on the road to recovery. Call Fletcher Law for help today.